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Taliban Govt comes into being in Afghanistan

Taliban Govt comes into being in Afghanistan

The Taliban press conference where the new government was announced.

Kabul: The Taliban on Tuesday announced the names of the members of a new caretaker government in Afghanistan. The government will be led by Mullah Mohammad Hassan, the little-known head of the Taliban's leadership council, who will be the acting Prime Minister.

Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the main public face of the group who signed a peace deal with the Trump administration last year, will serve as his deputy.

Sirajuddin Haqqani, leader of the Haqqani Network who is on the FBI's most-wanted list for terrorism, will serve as acting interior minister.

Although no women were chosen, Mujahed called the cabinet a "diverse group" that included a variety of ethnicities and backgrounds.

"The Islamic Emirate decided to appoint and announce a caretaker cabinet to carry out the necessary government works," said Mujahid, who named 33 members of "the new Islamic government" and said the remaining posts will be announced after careful deliberation.

He also told reporters that the Taliban is not a tribal force and added that the group wanted good relations with the U.S. despite the war.

"We hope all countries in the world will recognize the legitimacy of our government and our Islamic regime."

Mujahed made no mention of Taliban Supreme Commander Haibatullah Akhundzada, who hasn't been seen in public since becoming the group's leader in 2016. Mohammad Yaqoob, the son of former supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar -- who refused to give up Osama bin Laden to the U.S. before the 2001 invasion -- became acting defence minister.

Other key cabinet members include:

Abdul Salam Hanafi, second deputy prime minister

Amir Khan Muttaqi as acting foreign minister

Hedayatullah Badri as acting finance minister

Din Mohammad as acting economy minister

Mohammad Edris as acting governor of the central bank

In a statement on Tuesday, Mullah Haibatullah Akhunzada, the Taliban's supreme leader, said the new government will work towards upholding sharia law in Afghanistan.

"I assure all the countrymen that the figures will work hard towards upholding Islamic rules and sharia law in the country," Akhundzada said.

Meanwhile, at a briefing on Tuesday, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said she didn't have a timeline for when the U.S. would recognize the new Taliban government and was still working to evacuate remaining Americans.

"There's no rush to recognition," she said. "It is really going to be dependent on what steps the Taliban takes. The world will be watching, the United States included."

For the new Taliban government, lots are at stake. Signs of an economic crisis are brewing, with prices of essential goods rising in Kabul while banks run short on cash. The U.S. has frozen roughly $9 billion in assets belonging to Da Afghanistan Bank, or DAB, the nation's central bank, and the International Monetary Fund cut off the group from using fund reserve assets.

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